An employee from a security firm decided to stage a one-man protest by clearing Sainsbury’s of all of its Russian branded vodka.
Mike Ockelford, 59, admitted that after his act of vigilantism that he got into a heated exchange with one of the floor managers at the Sainsbury’s in Basildon.
Ockelford said he had simply gone to the store to buy a cake for his office when he noticed the bottles of vodka and was compelled to act.
Ockelford said he put the Russian Standard Vodka into a buggy and pushed them to the front of the store where he asked to speak to the manager.
He was told they would need to contact the head office before removing the product from their shelves. In the meantime, another manager asked Ockleford to return the bottles, sparking an argument.
“It wasn’t an attempt to steal it – it was to make a point. I was offended that they were selling Russian vodka given what Russia has done and the sanctions.
“I went in there to get some cakes for the office, it was very spontaneous.
“I had a look at the alcohol shelf and saw that the Russian products were still on the shelves, so I checked the bottles and removed all the vodka bottles bottled in St Petersburg.
“The situation was a bit inflamed by this floor manager who overruled the assistant manager who insisted that the bottles should go back on the shelf," Ockleford said. I did raise my voice and told him he was talking “a load of bollocks”, and then he called the police."
He went on to say that he left the store after giving the assistant manager his details but then waited in his car to speak to the police as he had “nothing to hide.”
“They asked for my details and then asked for my address, and I didn’t feel like I had to give that to them so they handcuffed me and put me in the back of their car for three minutes,” he said.
Ockleford says he doesn’t think charges will be pressed.